Why the UK Consulate-General changed its Facebook designation

The recent redesignation of the British Consulate-General’s Facebook title from the British Consulate General in the Kurdistan Region to the British Consulate General Erbil worried some Kurds given Iraqi efforts to downgrade the officially recognised Kurdistan Region. APPG Chairman Jack Lopresti MP tabled a written parliamentary question seeking clarification from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Respected Middle East Minister Alistair Burt’s answer, for the record, was: ‘The British Consulate General in Erbil has not changed its name. Its Facebook page was recently changed from a monolingual (English) to a bilingual (English and Kurdish) version. Subsequently, the Kurdish name on the site was shortened as the previous title exceeded the maximum allowed characters in Kurdish. The British Consulate General in Erbil has informed local media and officials of the change.’ The question confirms that the reasons for redesignation were mundane and understandable but also elicited further confirmation that ‘the British Government continues to support the security, stability and prosperity of the Kurdistan Region within a unified Iraq.’

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